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Best American Express Credit Cards

17 min read
Abigail Welles By Abigail Welles Sep 24, 2019 | Updated Mar 27, 2020

American Express, one of the oldest and most widely recognized credit card companies, has a long history of serving consumers and businesses alike. Today it offers some of the best credit cards on the market, whether you’re new to credit or a veteran frequent flyer.

Below you’ll find a wide variety of personal credit cards and charge cards, with options ranging from basic everyday spending to luxury travel. Whether you want simple cash back or you love transferring points and looking for the best deals, you’ll find it with American Express.

Insider tip

Small business owner? Amex has cards for you too. Check out our overview of American Express business credit cards and charge cards.

Best for Charge Cards

You have three Amex consumer charge card offers to choose from. The main difference between charge cards and typical credit cards is that charge cards usually must be paid in full each billing period — you can’t revolve a balance from month to month. Other than that, you can use them pretty much like any other credit card.

Card & Rewards Annual Fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • 5X Membership Rewards points on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points on other eligible Amex Travel purchases
  • 1X Membership Rewards point on all other purchases
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
$550
(Rates & Fees)
American Express® Gold Card

  • 4X Membership Rewards points at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent annually)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point on all other purchases
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
$250
(Rates & Fees)
American Express® Green Card

  • 3X Membership Rewards points for:
    • Travel
    • Restaurants
  • 1X Membership Rewards point for all other purchases
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
$150
(Rates & Fees)

Insider tip

The Centurion® Card from American Express (Review), or the “Black Card,” is Amex’s legendary elite charge card, but you can’t just fill out an app for it. Instead, the chosen ones are invited to apply after proving their worth. Read more about the Centurion Card here.


The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If American Express was a car, The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) would probably be the hood ornament. This is Amex’s premium travel card, and it comes with a suite of benefits focused on improving your airline and hotel experiences.

Most notable is probably the Global Lounge Collection, which provides the best airport lounge access you can get with a credit card. From Priority Pass to Delta Sky Clubs, you won’t be left eating vending machine peanuts when you’re stuck at the airport.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or American Express Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $600–$1,200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12%–24%

Key Features

  • Global Lounge Collection: Complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Good for incidental costs like checked bags and in-flight food (not flight tickets) at your selected airline.
  • $200 annual Uber credits: $15 in statement credits for Uber rides each month, except for December which gets $35.
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four-and-a-half years).
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay.
  • Point transfer: To airline and hotel loyalty programs, like Delta, British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hyatt.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $550

 

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum card is all about travel, while the American Express® Gold Card (Review) splits the focus between travel and food (an excellent combination).

You’ll get bonus categories covering both eating out and eating in, as well as airlines, although hotels are conspicuously absent. Still, you’ll get annual credits that nearly offset the annual fee, plus a variety of useful perks.

Spending Rewards
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent annually)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar on Flights booked directly through airlines or American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $350–$700 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 8.75%–17.5%

Key Features

  • $100 annual airline fee credit: Use this to pay for incidental airline fees, like baggage and in-flight food and drinks. Does not apply to flight tickets.
  • $120 annual dining credit: Earn up to $10 in statement credits per month for purchases at eligible restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Point transfer: To airline and hotel loyalty programs, like JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hilton.
  • The Hotel Collection: Provides up to $100 in credits for every eligible hotel stay of two nights or more.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $250

 

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$150
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The American Express® Green Card (Review) was recently upgraded to feature new bonus categories and benefits, including some potentially lucrative offers for certain travelers.

This card didn’t have much to recommend it before, but now, if you like the new perks, it could be a solid travel charge card for anyone who doesn’t want to spring for the Gold or Platinum. Or, if you’re just looking for Membership Rewards points, check out the less expensive point cards below.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar for:
    • Travel
    • Restaurants
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $300–$600 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 15%–30%

Key Features

  • Annual CLEAR credits: Get up to $100 in statement credits per year towards a CLEAR membership.
  • Annual LoungeBuddy credits: Get up to $100 in statement credits per year for LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • Point transfer: To airline and hotel loyalty programs, like JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hilton
  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra point opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Shopping protection: Purchase Protection
  • Annual fee: $150

Best for Cash Back Rewards

Card & Rewards Annual Fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • 6% cash back for:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  •  3% cash back for:
    • Transit
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $250 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$95
(Rates & Fees)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • 3% cash back at:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Select U.S. department stores
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$0 (Rates & Fees)
American Express Cash Magnet® Card

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$0 (Rates & Fees)

 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR12.99–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) really packs a punch when it comes to groceries, with an industry-leading 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets. Amex recently made this card even better, expanding the bonus categories to include certain streaming services and transit.

Spending Rewards
  • 6% cash back for:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back for:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $250 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 25%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find significant discounts at a changing selection of merchants and websites, like (at the time of publication) Wayfair, Squarespace, and select meal kits.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 12.99–23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $95

 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review) may earn less cash back than the Preferred version, but it also comes with no annual fee. So it could be perfect if your grocery bill isn’t very high and you don’t care about the other categories of the Preferred.

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back at:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 2% cash back at:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 15%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra point opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 12.99–23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months from the date of account opening with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.17% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase.
  • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your Card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you tend to make a variety of purchases, or need a card to fill in the gaps between the bonus categories of your other credit cards, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card (Review) could be what you’re looking for. With the same flat rate for every purchase, you can use the Cash Magnet to earn decent rewards no matter where you shop.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 15%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra cash back opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 12.99–23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Best for Point Rewards

The following cards offer Membership Rewards points, rather than cash back, making them a bit more travel-oriented. These points aren’t worth much when redeemed for statement credits, but you can find great value by transferring them to airline and hotel frequent traveler programs.

Card & Rewards Annual Fee
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

  • 3X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. gas stations and Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point for all other purchases
  • 50% more points for making at least 30 purchases in a billing period
  • 15,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$95
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

  • 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually) and Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point for all other purchases
  • 20% more points for making at least 20 purchases in a billing period
  • 10,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$0
Blue from American Express®

  • 2X Membership Rewards points at Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point for every other purchase
$0

 

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 50% more points: Make 30 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 50% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking through amextravel.com.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • Visit our credit card partner’s site in order to learn more and securely apply for The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card (Review) is designed for grocery and gas spending, with an interesting feature that boosts your rewards for using the card frequently. You’ll have to use the card quite a bit each billing period to get it, but if you can you’ll get a hefty 50% bonus to all the points earned in that period.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for all other purchases
  • 50% point bonus: For making 30 or more purchases per billing period
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 15,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $150–$300 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 15%–30%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra cash back opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 13.99%–23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $95

 

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99%–25.99%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card (Review) is the lesser version of the EveryDay Preferred above, offering fewer points per dollar and a smaller spending bonus. But in return there’s no annual fee, so you won’t have to worry about making the card pay for itself.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for all other purchases
  • 20% point bonus: For making 20 or more purchases per billing period
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 10,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $100–$200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 10%–20%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra cash back opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Blue from American Express®

Blue from American Express®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 2X points per dollar spent at Amextravel.com
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Membership Rewards® Program – use rewards points on 500+ leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, or entertainment
  • May receive an instant card number upon acceptance of application
  • No annual fee

The information related to Blue from American Express® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Blue from American Express® isn’t very exciting. It’s got no annual fee so it can be a free way to earn Membership Rewards points, but there are much better cards if you actually care about earning points.

If you’re looking to get a lot out of your rewards card, another option would be a better fit.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for every other purchase

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find discounts and extra cash back opportunities at a changing selection of merchants.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Annual fee: $0

Best for Co-Branded Airline Cards

Card & Rewards Annual Fee
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

  • 3X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for every other purchase
  • 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months; 20,000 bonus miles after your first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)
$550
(Rates & Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Hotels
  • 2X SkyMiles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for all other purchases
  • 80,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; 20,000 bonus miles after first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)
$250
(Rates & Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for every other purchase
  • 60,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months; 10,000 bonus miles after first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
(Rates & Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for all other purchases
  • 15,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
$0
(Rates & Fees)

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
  • New! With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • New! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (Review) is Delta’s premium card, with a high annual fee and several valuable airline perks, chief among them being lounge access and a companion certificate. You may want to consider the other Delta cards before springing for this one though, as the increased fee may not come with much extra value for many cardholders.

The SkyMiles you earn with the Delta cards will be in addition to any other miles you earn from your Delta member status.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
  • 1X mile per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months; 20,000 bonus miles after your first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)

 Key Features

  • Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access: Get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, with up to two guests at $39 each, plus complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, with up to two guests at $50 each. Includes two free Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes.
  • Annual Companion Certificate: A certificate for a domestic Main Cabin round-trip flight each year upon renewal
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit: A credit for either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 every four-and-a-half years)
  • Status Boost: Earn 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 in eligible purchases, up to four times per calendar year.
  • Priority Boarding on Delta flights: Get on the plane more quickly with Main Cabin 1 priority boarding.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: A 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, movies, and audio headsets
  • Complimentary upgrades: If you don’t have Medallion status you can still get some upgrades for free.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $550

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles. Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
  • New! With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • New! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Review) is one of the mid-tier Delta cards, with solid airline perks and a great introductory bonus.

Using this card could be a good way to see if the Delta Reserve would be worth it for you — if you find yourself wanting more, you may want to upgrade. (Or start with the Reserve on its own, which has a higher introductory bonus. If you find you’re not getting your money’s worth, you could consider downgrading to one of the other Delta cards with a lower annual fee.)

Spending Rewards
  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Purchases directly with hotels
  • 2X SkyMiles per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X mile per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; 20,000 bonus miles after first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)

Key Features

  • Delta Sky Club airport lounge access: Discounted lounge access for you and two guests, at $39 per person
  • Annual companion certificate at account anniversary: Valid for domestic Main Cabin round-trip tickets
  • Status Boost: Earn 10,000 MQMs for spending $25,000, up to twice per calendar year
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • Priority Boarding on Delta flights: Get on the plane more quickly with Zone 1 priority boarding.
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: A 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, movies, and audio headsets
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $250

 

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • New! Get ready for your next trip – spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to get you there sooner.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you’re not ready to go for one of the more expensive Delta cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Review) might serve you well. You won’t get any premium airline benefits, but you can enjoy the convenience of a free checked bag, priority boarding, and savings on in-flight purchases.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months; 10,000 bonus miles after first cardmember anniversary (expires 4/1/2020)

Key Features

  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • Priority Boarding on Delta flights: Get on the plane more quickly with Zone 1 priority boarding.
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: A 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, movies, and audio headsets
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • $100 Delta flight credit: For spending $10,000 in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • New! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • New! No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card doesn’t have much to recommend it, but since it has no annual fee, it could be a good downgrade option if you have one of the other Delta cards but won’t use it anymore.

You won’t get much in the way of airline benefits, only a 20% statement credit for in-flight purchases. But there are a few other features provided by Amex.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Restaurants
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 15,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

Key Features

  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: A 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, movies, and audio headsets
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Annual fee: $0

Best for Co-Branded Hotel Cards

Card Annual Fee
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 3X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for:
    • Flights booked directly from airlines
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
  • 75,000 Bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
$450
Hilton Honors Aspire Card

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
    • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar on all other purchases
  • 150,000 Bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
$450
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
  • 125,000 Bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
$95
(Rates & Fees)
Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 5X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
$0
(Rates & Fees)

 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR16.74%–25.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 6X points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3X points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • $300 Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit
  • Free Night Award every year after your card anniversary
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, Platinum Elite status after spending $75,000 per year
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application
  • $450 annual fee

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Frequent Marriott Bonvoy residents will love the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Review). With a free night every year, Gold Elite status, airport lounge access, and several credits to offset the fee, this is one of the most valuable hotel cards on the market.

Spending Rewards
  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 3X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for:
    • Flights booked directly from airlines
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 75,000 Bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $600–$1,500 (assuming 0.8–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 20%–50%

Key Features

  • $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy hotel credit: Up to $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases
  • Free Night Award: Every year after your account anniversary you’ll get a Free Night Award, good for redemption values of 50,000 points or fewer.
  • Complimentary Gold Elite hotel status: Includes perks like a 25% bonus on base points, 2 p.m. late checkout, and more
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Free access to Priority Pass airport lounges for you and up to two guests (excludes non-lounge experiences)
  • $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every four years
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each year you’ll get 15 Elite Night Credits towards a higher member status.
  • $100 property credit: Earn up to $100 in property credits when booking at least two nights direct with a special rate code at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $450

 

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR16.74%–25.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 14X Bonus Points per dollar at participating Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts
  • 20X additional Base Points per dollar at Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts for your Diamond member status
  • 7X Bonus Points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines, select car rentals
  • 3X Bonus Points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • 150,000 Bonus Points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status and other benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee

The information related to Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Card membership will run you $450 per year, but the Hilton Honors Aspire Card will provide the most Hilton Honors points out of all the Amex Hilton cards, not only from the card but from your elite hotel status. You’ll also get some useful credits and free stays that could completely offset the annual fee — and then some — if you travel enough every year.

Spending Rewards
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 7X Bonus points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
    • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Bonus points per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 150,000 Bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $600–$1,500 (assuming 0.4–1 cent per point)
    • Return on spend: 15%–37.5%

Key Features

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status: Includes a 100% bonus on Base points earned, room upgrades to suites when available, executive lounge access, a 48-hour room guarantee, and more
  • Annual free Weekend Night Award: One free night every year, and earn another free weekend night by spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • $100 Hilton on-property credit: Good for every eligible stay of two nights or more, valid for incidental fees only
  • Annual $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • Annual $250 airline fee statement credit: For incidental fees only
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Free access to Priority Pass airport lounges for you and up to two guests (excludes non-lounge experiences)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $450

 

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

As the mid-tier Amex Hilton card, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Review) won’t weigh down your wallet but it will help you earn quite a lot of Hilton points. You’ll get an upgraded hotel member status and Priority Pass lounge access, but you’ll have to spend quite a bit each year to earn any free night stays.

Spending Rewards
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Bonus points per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 125,000 Bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–$1,250 (assuming 0.4–1 cent per point)
    • Return on spend: 25%–62.5%

Key Features

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status: Includes an 80% point bonus, room upgrades when available, complimentary breakfasts, and more
  • Limited Priority Pass Select membership: 10 free visits to Priority Pass lounges per year; additional visits cost $32 per person
  • Annual Weekend Night Award: For spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $95

 

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t offer much, but it could be useful for the occasional Hilton stay.

Card members get automatic Hilton Honors Silver status, but if you won’t travel too much or tend to stay at a variety of hotels we’d recommend going with a general travel rewards card instead, one that isn’t co-branded with a particular hotel brand.

Spending Rewards
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 5X Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. supermarkets
    • U.S. gas stations
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Bonus points for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 75,000 Bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $300–$750 (assuming 0.4–1 cent per point)
    • Return on spend: 30%–75%

Key Features

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status: Includes a 20% bonus on Base points, late checkout, two free bottles of water, and more
  • Fast track to Gold status: Spend $20,000 in a calendar year to earn Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

American Express Card Features

American Express extends a selection of additional features for most of its cards. Check your specific card’s details online or in the accompanying Guide to Benefits to learn which features you can take advantage of.

  • Amex Offers: Most Amex rewards cards come with Amex Offers, a handy shopping portal that can extend the usefulness of your card. You’ll get a selection of discounts and extra reward opportunities at a wide variety of merchants, with new offers about once a month.
  • ShopRunner membership: Many Amex cards come with a ShopRunner subscription, which provides free two-day shipping and returns at a growing selection of online retailers.
  • Membership Rewards points: Some Amex cards earn Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to over a dozen airline and hotel frequent traveler programs. Save your points until you can cash them in for a high value, like two cents per point or more, to maximize your rewards cards.
  • A bevy of travel perks: Some Amex travel cards come with airline and hotel credits, elite hotel statuses, memberships with car rental agencies, and access to travel planning services to create custom itineraries for your trips. Certain cards also come with The Hotel Collection and the Fine Hotels & Resorts program for additional perks.
  • Wide-ranging lounge access: The Platinum cards (personal and business), along with the Amex Black Card, provide the best airport lounge access in the credit card game with Amex’s Global Lounge Collection. Lounges include Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta Sky Club, Airspace, Escape, and more.
  • Shopping protections: Depending on the card, you may get purchase protection, return protection, and/or extended warranty.
  • Travel protections: These may include travel insurances like car rental insurance, a baggage insurance plan, and travel accident insurance, plus roadside assistance and a global assistance hotline.
  • Alternate ways to pay: Some Amex cards come with the Pay Over Time or Pay It Plan It features, which provide different payment plans that could be useful in some cases.
  • Year-End Summary: Download a convenient summary of all your charges for the previous calendar year, available as a PDF, Excel, or CSV file.

A Brief History of American Express

Founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York, the American Express company began as a freight-centered business that competed with the U.S. Postal Service. During this beginning phase in Amex’s history, it was most trusted with transporting valuables between consumers as well as businesses.

Its journey to the brand we know today began between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After thriving from its freight-forwarding business, American Express introduced new services catering towards personal financial services, and in the 1950s the company introduced its first charge card. This marked the start of Amex’s passion for providing its customers with unique cards for a wide swath of lifestyles and needs.

An American Express Order and Commission Department, approx. 1878. Image credit: Smithsonian Institution

An American Express Order and Commission Department, approx. 1878. Image credit: Smithsonian Institution

A Traveler’s Company, and a Ticket Home During World War I

In the beginning, American Express focused on establishing business-to-business connections in order to help companies safely deliver merchandise to each other. To help support existing customers who found themselves traveling frequently for work, it introduced the Traveler’s Cheque in 1891.

The American Express Traveler’s Cheque. Image credit: American Express

The American Express Traveler’s Cheque. Image credit: American Express

This was inspired by James Fargo, the president of Amex at the time, who was unable to cash checks while overseas in Europe. An employee of his, Marcellus Berry, created a travel-specific model that required a signature to be cashed abroad. Eventually, the company opened its first international office in Paris to further support overseas travelers.

When the First World War began, 150,000 Americans found themselves stranded overseas. But holders of American Express Traveler’s Cheques were able to cash them in and get home safely with their belongings.

American Express’ First Charge Card

Nearly 40 years past the end of WW1 and a decade following WW2, American Express launched its first charge card in 1958 to provide both security and flexibility for those trying to navigate the growing economy. Upon its launch it had 250,000 cardholders, and 17,500 companies signed on to use it. This new card was available in both the U.S. and Canada.

The first American Express personal charge card, introduced in 1958. Image credit: American Express

The first American Express personal charge card, introduced in 1958. Image credit: American Express

Just a bit later in 1959, American Express became one of the first major credit card companies to issue a plastic credit card.

Global Expansion

In the 1970s, Amex began international card-issuing relationships in both South America and Europe. This was especially important to the growth of its business-centered customer base, as international partnerships offered more financial support to growing and established businesses with their hands overseas.

As the company entered the latter decades of the 20th century, it began to create unique programs for its travel-focused customers. It launched Membership Rewards (originally named Membership Miles) in 1991 to help customers earn card-based rewards and get the most out of the money they spend everyday.

Continuing to Innovate

In modern times, Amex has developed several community outreach initiatives to spur economic growth in addition to the vast variety of cards and services it now offers. One of the most well-known American Express initiatives is its “Small Business Saturday,” which was launched in 2010 and most notably gained momentum under the catchy slogan, “Shop Small.”

The first Shop Small Saturday event in 2010. Image credit: American Express

One of the first Shop Small Saturday events in 2010. Image credit: American Express

In addition to fostering consumerism amongst local businesses, Amex also has a history of providing assistance when natural disasters strike to help provide some stability for those affected. It also offers grants to community service programs to help fund their causes.

Looking for credit cards from other card issuers? You’ll find a wide variety of excellent options in our picks for the Best Credit Cards.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Blue from American Express®, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, and Hilton Honors Aspire Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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